Alaska Rural Airport Inspection Program

Airport infrastructure in rural Alaska experiences unique problems and requires high level maintenance by virtue of cold climate. Freezing temperatures and weathering variably affects airport runway condition and equipment across the state. To compound this issue, many runways in rural Alaska are unpaved lending the runway to erosion. We noted the problem with erosion during work being conducted on several rural runways under a different project during summer 2008. Several runways seemed to be undermined by erosion, which could eventually result in a possible failure of the runway surface. As in any unpaved surface, routine inspection & maintenance is required on these runways, however the remoteness of many Alaskan villages results in infrequent thorough inspections. Consistent with AUTC's 2008 Roadmap theme of maintaining transportation systems, a comprehensive airport inspection program is needed to improve transportation safety and reduce maintenance costs for Alaska's transportation infrastructure. We propose to develop and implement an inspection program of rural airports for the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (AKDOT&PF). The scope of the proposed inspection program was developed with input from AKDOT&PF. Maintaining a workforce in the AKDOT&PF has also become an issue over the last several years. Retirements and turnover has left the Department with a reduced staff. The inspection program described in this proposal provides an excellent opportunity for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to work with the AKDOT&PF to provide sophomore or junior year civil engineering students' hands-on experience in transportation engineering. Thus, transportation engineering workforce development is an associated objective of this proposed project. We will train interested civil engineering students on how to take the proper field measurements and samples and document the condition of the rural airports to be inspected. Under our guidance, the students will analyze the field measurements and conduct the necessary tests in our laboratories on samples gathered in the field. The students will also write the reports documenting the condition of the airports. Through this experience the students will be introduced to the challenges of transportation engineering in Alaska and the possibilities of working in this field.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:


    309029 / G00003238

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    RITA: Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Alaska University Transportation Center

    University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    P.O. Box 755900
    Fairbanks, AK  United States  99775-5900

    Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

    Division of Program Develpment
    3132 Channel Drive
    Juneau, AK  United States  99801
  • Project Managers:

    Barnes, Dave

  • Performing Organizations:

    Alaska University Transportation Center

    University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    P.O. Box 755900
    Fairbanks, AK  United States  99775-5900
  • Principal Investigators:

    Filler, Dennis

    Barnes, Dave

  • Start Date: 20090601
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20121130
  • Source Data: RiP Project 22594

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01486768
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Alaska University Transportation Center
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT06-G-0011, 309029 / G00003238
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2013 1:00AM